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common lumber terms

Here are a few common lumber terms you might find useful.

Front Range Lumber and the industry use these words every day:

WANE – A round edge on a board where the edge of the trunk was. Said differently: the mill pushed and tried to get a 2×6 where really only a good 2×4 should have been cut.

SURFACED – Smoothened by planers or other machinery to obtain a smooth finished surface.

GREEN – Lumber that has not been seasoned or dried.

RANDOM WIDTH (OR RANDOM LENGTHS) – The mill cut to just whatever the maximum length (or width) they could from the raw lumber from a tree. Not cut to standard 8’, 10’, etc lengths.

KDAT – Lumber that is Kiln Dried After Treatment.

NOMINAL – Refers to the measurement of a board. An actual measurement of a smooth sawn “nominal” 2×4 is 1-1/2” x 3-1/2” as an example.

KNOT – A knot is an imperfection in the wood, what many people don’t realize is a knot in a board was where the branch grew out of the tree trunk!

VOID -Relates to plywood, places where the knot fell out of the veneer, creating a hole in that place.

CHECK – A crack in the board’s end running into the board.

CROWN – When a board is humped. Alternatively, looking at a board’s end and examining the tree ring pattern. Boards should always be installed “crown up”.

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